The Olive Garden has approximately 130 olive trees, which are ecologically maintained. There are three types of trees: Gordal, Silvestre, and Manzanilla. Gordal is a typical Spanish breed which gives large, firm, chubby olives. The flesh is soft with a central ‘stone’ that contains the seed. Gordal olives have a low sugar and high oil content. Silvestre is a subvariety of Olea europaea europaea and provides olives with a refined and a full-bodied taste. Manzanillas are more soft and smaller with a slightly stronger taste. This type is very productive but also susceptible to damage from cold weather.
The Olive Garden is south west orientated, situated in a side valley of the sunny and green Jalon Valley. The north, south and west winds are all influenced by the mediterrenian sea which makes for a mild breeze and a mild climate year round. At the east side of the region there are mountains to protect from the inland heat in the summer, and cold temperatures and Atlantic rains in the winter. Spring and autumn have concentrated heavy rains which are retained in the calcareous soil. The temperature nearly never drops under zero. This combination gives a perfect mix to produce tasteful olive oil.
November is the month to harvest the olives.Each year, we offer a four-day programme in which we arrange the harvesting, wine tastings, diners and other activities. It is a truly special and enjoyable that unites people from various countries and backgrounds. Thursday afternoon, collectively we go to Gata the Gorgos where the olives are pressed to produce our tasteful extra virgin olive oil.
In 2019 we collected 566 kilos of olives which provided 111 liters of olive oil (20%). The taste of the olive oil in 2019 was, especially judging by the comments made by the local Spanish, delicious and well balanced. This may be because of a good balance between green olive, which are a bit sharper and stronger, and black olives, which make for a soft en mellow touch.
In 2020, there were fewer olives (approximately 400 kilos), and we managed to get 18% oil out of the harvest (72 liters). Because there were relatively few green olives and many semi-dry black olives, the taste of the oil was friendly and soft.
In 2021, we saw the trees loaded with olives like never before. Some branches were about to snap due to the weight of the olives. Within only 3 days (with 10 people working however) we collected 1496 kilos of big, juicy green olives, with a tinge of black and bordeaux red thanks to some trees with beautiful coloured olives. Big olives, however, also tend to contain more water, and with 253 liters we reached a yield of 17%. The oil, at first, was quite green and spicy, but as usual the colour and taste balance out over the course of a month.